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45th annual Iowa Pork Congress Jan. 25 and 26

The Iowa Pork Producers Association will host its 45th annual Iowa Pork Congress on Jan. 25 and 26 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

Pork Congress is North America’s largest winter swine tradeshow and conference and it will feature 10 seminars, 300 exhibitors, training sessions, fun social events and exciting youth activities.

“We’re happy to offer Pork Congress each year and are excited about the 2017 version,” said IPPA President Al Wulfekuhle, a pig farmer from Quasqueton.

The business seminars are offered at no additional cost to attendees and cover some of the most important issues facing pig farmers. Seminar topics include managing margins in a market downturn, current swine health trends and the Veterinary Feed Directive. Several of the pork industry’s top experts will lead the discussions, including Dr. Chris Rademacher, Pat Von Tersch and Dr. Rodger Main. Several producers also will provide personal perspective in some of the seminars.

Dr. Lowell Catlett of New Mexico State University is the keynote presenter. The retired college dean and regent’s professor in agriculture economics and business will present “Best time ever to be in agriculture and the five trends that will make it even better” at 2:15 p.m. on Jan. 25. Catlett is an enthralling and spellbinding presenter who offers positive and upbeat predictions.

Hog farmers also will be able to obtain or renew their PQA Plus and TQA certifications, and a certification session for confinement site manure applicators is being offered.

Nearly 300 different swine-specific companies will fill the Hy-Vee Hall tradeshow floor marketing such things as flooring and feed efficiency products to weight monitoring equipment and feed supplements.

IPPA has relocated its Pork Information Plaza this year from the north tradeshow floor to Hall “A” to allow more commercial exhibitors into the tradeshow. Iowa producer leaders and representatives from the National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers, Iowa State University and other affiliated organizations will join IPPA in the new plaza space.

Many other activities and events will be held in association with Pork Congress during the week. Events begin on Jan. 23 with IPPA’s annual Taste of Elegance contest and reception at the Iowa Events Center. The association’s annual meeting will be held on Jan. 24, followed by the Kickoff Reception and Auction. The Pork Congress Banquet is on Wednesday evening.

The 9th annual Youth Swine Judging contest will be held on Jan. 26, at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. 4-H and FFA members from around the state can learn more about the industry and compete for valuable scholarships.

“I invite producers to take advantage of as many of the activities and seminars as possible. Pork Congress is a great place to learn and share ideas,” Wulfekuhle said.

Pork Congress will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 25 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 26.

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